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Even kids know about the millions of cars around the world that emit tons of exhaust into the atmosphere every day. The fact that these substances destroy the ozone layer and cause serious illnesses is also not a secret for anyone.
In an effort to solve this problem, many scientists are looking for ways to obtain alternative fuels, and the results of their labors are increasingly surprising.
So, one of the most promising developments was proposed by a team of scientists from the National University of Singapore in early March this year. Scientists were looking for a cheap and simple way to get biobutanol - liquid biofuel, which today is the first competitor of gasoline.
Biobutanol is the main competitor of gasoline, photo WEB
Earlier, its production in this capacity was not economically feasible, but with the development of biotechnologies the situation has radically changed. As it turned out, a bacterium, code-named TG57, is capable of making butanol from cellulose.
The laconic name of the obtained strain hides the name of the natural bacterium Thermoanaerobacterium thermosaccharolyticum, which was isolated by scientists from the waste products of mushroom production. The process of its fermentation is relatively simple, cheap and does not require genetic modifications.
The bacterium TG57 is able to make butanol from cellulose, photo WEB
And it is not difficult to find cellulose at all - sawdust, straw, peat and other non-food sources of it are abundant in any countries in the world. By the way, processing of this garbage in biofuel is potentially able to solve one more environmental problem - industrial waste dumps.
It is noteworthy that a new type of fuel can be poured into the tank of a modern car even tomorrow. It does not require the modernization of the fuel system and the engine of the car, and therefore potentially without any complications can replace gasoline. The new process for the production of butanol does not cause any harm to the environment, it does not produce oxides of sulfur and nitrogen during combustion, which in many cases reduces the risk of cars exhaust gases.
A new type of fuel does not cause any harm to the environment, photo WEB
However, to speak about the revolution of biofuel in the world is not worthwhile, because this concept, although promising, but not the only one. French suggested to use similar product (olive oil waste products) at the end of last year. And a couple of years before, scientists from the University of Maryland announced the method of obtaining alternative fuels from by-products of agro-industrial processes (in particular, the production of corn and sugar beet).
For the second year some flights of United Airlines have been flying on the fuel, partly consisting of agricultural waste products. The airlines, by the way, invests considerable funds in the development of alternative fuels for aviation, explaining its actions by the desire to reduce the risks caused by fluctuations in the price of oil.
United Airlines for the second year use fuel, partly consisting of processed products, photo WEB
Science brings the end of the "gasoline" era day by day, but so far there are many difficulties on this path. Thus, the production of biofuels from food crops is still very expensive procedure. And many methods of producing fuel from waste, in themselves are not environmentally friendly. In this respect, strain TG57 is really a find. The process of its "extraction" is cheap and absolutely harmless for the environment, and the raw materials can be quickly renewed.
Victoria Romanova, Russia, Moscow